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Open vs. Closed Wheel Racing: The Great Motorsport Debate

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Motorsport fans know how to appreciate the speed, handling and the world’s most advanced machinery. The excitement of seeing a motorsports race is unparalleled, except for those lucky racers who get the chance to drive these unbelievable machines. But for anyone who is seriously into the sport, there is one key question – do you prefer open wheel racing or closed wheel racing? In this article, discover the difference between the two types and get involved in this great motorsport debate!

The Difference Between Open Wheel Racing & Closed Wheel Racing

The difference between the two should be obvious to motorsports fans. But to clear up any confusion, let’s dive into what is meant by open and closed wheel racing. Starting in 1902, open wheel racing involves sports cars with wheels placed away from the vehicle and exposed to the air, they are usually smaller vehicles with space for only the driver. The most obvious example are motorsports races like Formula 1. The races take place on a track and these types of sports cars are unlikely to be road worthy. These cars are built for speed and handling on smooth tracks, meaning they can hit amazing speeds that are astonishing to watch.

Closed wheel racing involves race cars with the wheels kept under the car’s body and often covered with fenders. These are far more akin to the cars we see on the road and can usually hold two people – the driver and the co-driver. They are far more versatile and events in this class can take place on a track or off-road.

Open Wheel Racing

In Europe, formula racing is the most popular motorsports in the world and includes several race series, the most famous of which is Formula One and its famous annual Grand Prix. Many fans from around the world come together to bet on their favourite racers at each event from online casinos that offer Formula One betting, as well as table games like Blackjack and slot games like Fishin frenzy, for players to enjoy while watching their favourite races. But why are open wheel races so exciting to watch and why do fans keep watching year after year?

Speed Like No Other

These are high-performance vehicles capable of incredible speeds. Today, the fastest speed ever recorded in a Formula race was 231.4mph (372.5km/h) by Valtteri Bottas in an F1 race, the 2016 Mexican Grand Prix.

Best Drivers

Extreme speed requires extreme skill and lightning-fast reactions. Nobody has demonstrated these skills better than Lewis Hamilton. Driving for Mercedes in 288 F1 races Hamilton has taken gold time and time again, with his race wins totalling 103 wins making him arguably the number one driver in terms of career wins and total career points!

Closed Wheel Racing

Closed wheel racing covers various types of races that are known as some of the best motorsport events in the sport industry. From sports car racing like the famous NASCAR race and stock car racing to modified street tour cars and off-road events. This offers variety like no other motorsport and the chance to see more relatable road-worthy cars compete. But if open wheel racing is so much faster what keeps people interested in this slower motorsport?

NASCAR Sport Racing

The NASCAR sports race is undoubtedly the most popular close wheel racing event in the world. It sees high-performance sports cars compete on a track and attracts around 3.5 million people every year. These cars can top NASCAR Cup 220 MPH on a straightaway, so are still very impressive. Plus they handle completely differently from their open wheel counterparts.

Off-Road races

Exciting off-road terrain makes races that makes closed wheel motorsport even more interesting. The Paris–Dakar Rally is the most famous off-road endurance race totalling over 9,300 miles. It offers stunning scenery and hard terrain that requires drivers to have a completely different approach to handle. Then there is the Safari Rally in Kenya which is often described as the toughest and most demanding race in the world. The terrain and weather make it so difficult, it is hard to finish and most drivers are aiming only to cross the line rather than pushing the limits to take home gold.

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